Road crash victims, bereaved families and the emergency services from across the UK are gearing up to share their stories as a warning to all about the dangers we face when using the roads.
The RoadPeace Challenge, which kicks off on May 15 during UN Global Road Safety Week, will bring together police, fire and rescue services, the NHS and other professionals who witness the daily devastation caused by road crashes, alongside crash victims and bereaved families, to make a united stand against road harm.
In 2021 alone, 1,608 people were killed and 126,601 (a total of 128,209 people) were injured in collisions on the UK’s roads.
· Football spectators at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium and Old Trafford, in Manchester combined, if the stadiums were full to capacity
In her article in the British Medical Journal last year, orthopedic surgeon Professor Scarlett McNally said: “If these deaths or serious injury from road traffic crashes were a cancer, they’d represent the fifth leading new cancer diagnosis in the UK—with only prostate, lung, breast, and bowel cancer higher.”
The RoadPeace Challenge is putting crash victims, bereaved families and the emergency services at the heart of the campaign, strengthening their voices and giving the public an insight into the lasting physical and mental impact of collisions.
“Road death is sudden, violent and affects young, old and all demographics. We all have a responsibility to drive safely, and road safety stakeholders have a duty to reduce road danger.”
Nick Simmons, CEO of RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims, said: “Since RoadPeace was formed thirty years ago, 81,315 people have been killed and 1,245,833 people have been seriously injured in collisions on Britain’s roads.
“Because crashes happen individually and they aren’t widely reported in the media, people don’t realise just how many people are affected by collisions. They only realise when it happens to them, and it’s too late.
“Society seems to largely accept that road deaths and injuries are the inevitable cost of motorisation. But it doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be this way.”
Among those taking part in the campaign week of action are:
Emergency services and other organisations
- Chief Constable Jo Shiner, of Sussex Police, and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for roads policing. As well as being the top roads policing officer in the UK, CC Shiner’s father was killed in a road crash when she was a teenager
- Surrey Chief Fire Officer Dan Quin, the National Fire Chief Council’s road safety and road rescue teams lead
- Edmund King, President of the AA
- Greater Manchester Police and Transport for Greater Manchester – May 17
- Sgt Paul Cording and colleagues, North Yorkshire Police
- Surrey Fire and Rescue Service – Extrication demonstration – May 17
- Northamptonshire Police – Event at Abington Park, Northampton – May 20
- Det Chief Supt Andy Cox and the Metropolitan Police roads and transport policing team, who will be running 10k through London in honour of the 10 people, on average, who are killed or seriously injured every day on London roads – May 16
- Children from Milton Road Primary School, Cambridge, will take part in various road safety activities – May 18
- National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire – Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, bereaved families and emergency services across the UK will gather for the RoadPeace Challenge finale event – 1pm on Sunday May 21 (media welcome. please enquire)
Bereaved families and road crash victims
- James Regan, from Sussex, whose 20-year-old son Ben, a Coldstream Guard, was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 2015
- Sharron Huddleston, from Cumbria, whose 18-year-old daughter Caitlin was killed in 2017 after the car she travelling in as a front-seat passenger, collided with an oncoming van
- Meera Naran MBE, from Leicestershire, an independent road safety campaigner whose eight-year-old son Dev was killed on a motorway in 2018
- Ciara Lee, from Berkshire, whose husband Eddy was killed in 2018, when their son was just two, after a van driver ploughed into his motorcycle on the M4. Ciara is a co-founder of the RoadPeace Challenge
- Nicole and Chris Taylor, from Northamptonshire, whose daughter Beccy was killed in a road crash in 2008, aged 18, after she lost control of her car when it hit surface water
- Chris and Rachael Thorold, from Cambridgeshire, whose five-month-old son Louis died in January 2021 after a car collided with his pram on a pavement. Rachael survived, but spent 118 days in hospital and suffered multiple broken bones and a traumatic brain injury. They set up the Louis Thorold Foundation in Louis’ memory to prevent the deaths of young children on Britain’s roads
- Christina Worsfold, from Devon, whose 34-year-old partner, Tom McConnachie was killed by a drink driver in a hit-and-run crash in 2019. Since then, she has been campaigning for Tom’s Law to be introduced – allowing the police to be able to suspend drink, drug or dangerous drivers until they appear in court.
- Debbie Clack and her sister Donna Barnham, from London. Debbie’s daughter, Lillie Jane Clack, was killed by a speeding drunk driver in 2021. The sisters set up a petition calling for immediate and compulsory driving bans for drivers who kill
- West Midlands RoadPeace Group, who will be walking together to talk and remember loved ones in Birmingham
Updated on: 13 May 2023